In the Spotlight: Nov. 30, 2018

Kudos to these faculty and staff

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  • Physics and astronomy professors Cristina Thomas and David Trilling, along with former graduate students Mary Hinkle and Brian Burt, are co-authors on the paper “The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey: Four Years of Photometry” published in The Astrophysical Journal. The paper focuses on the near-Earth object light curves and rotators.
  • Professor of biological sciences Paul Keim traveled to South Korea to meet with Wonjong Jang, head of the Korean Biological Safety Association and professor at Konkuk University, and to speak about the growing dangers of Botox use in South Korea. Keim was highlighted in Pulse, the country’s major business publication. Keim first visited as a speaker for the Federation of Korean Microbiological Societies International Conference in October.
  • Crystal Hepp, assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, published “Phylogenetic analysis of West Nile Virus in Maricopa County, Arizona: Evidence for dynamic behavior of strains in two major lineages in the American Southwest” in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. The paper examines whether cases of West Nile Virus in Maricopa County are endemic or imported each year.
  • Assistant professor in the School of Communication Harun Mehmedinovic was highlighted in Outside Magazine for his Skyglow project, which raises awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies. Skyglow features photographs of the night skies throughout Arizona as well as time-lapse videos.
  • President Rita Cheng recently participated in a panel discussing innovation in education at the Chandler Chamber Education Forum. Read the write-up in the monthly newsletter Chandler Chamber Living.
  • Ryan Behunin, assistant professor in physics and astronomy, is the co-author of the paper “Optomechanical cooling in a continuous system,” which will publish in Physical Review on Friday. The paper, based on the theory Behunin contributed, features a new cooling technique using laser light.
  • Men’s cross country coach Michael Smith received the Bill Dellinger Award from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) after leading the NAU team to its third straight NCAA Division I national title. Smith is one of five coaches to have won this award in back-to-back seasons. Smith also was awarded the Big Sky Conference Men’s Coach of the Year Award. The Lumberjacks were ranked first in the USTFCCCA’s National Coaches’ Poll and remained undefeated throughout 2018.
  • Volleyball coach Ken Murphy was voted the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Lumberjacks to a 23-8 overall record this season, making them Big Sky co-regular season champions with a 15-3 conference record. Since coming to NAU in 2013, Murphy has coached the Lumberjacks to a conference-high 128 overall wins and 75 Big Sky Wins.
  • Personalized Learning project manager Brynn Dryer was chosen to represent NAU on the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) Collaboratory on Employer Engagement. The project has five main objectives of articulating the business case for higher education attainment, identifying best practices for working with employers and industries, creating guaranteed pathways for industry-recognized certifications, recognizing work-based learning and elevating CBE institutions. Dryer will provide updates throughout the project and collaborate with director of educational partnerships Doug Small as opportunities arise to engage with employers.
  • Naomi Bishop, the science and engineering librarian at Cline Library, was recognized by the American Indian Library Association (AILA) with the Rising Leader Award at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. The award is given to an industry professional with less than 10 years of experience who is seen as having a promising future as an industry leader. Bishop has been involved in the AILA as secretary, newsletter editor, member and chair of the American Indian Youth Literature Awards and 2017-18 president.
  • Librarian Karen Underhill led the effort to produce the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, endorsed by the Society of American Archivists, which were cited in a policy draft at the Smithsonian Museum geared toward strengthening ties with Native American communities who have items housed. Vice President for Native American Initiatives Chad Hamill reviewed the policy through his ongoing work with the Smithsonian.
  • Yiqi Luo and Andrew Richardson of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and Greg Caporaso of the Pathogen and Micobiome Institute were included on the Highly Cited Researchers of 2018 list released by Clarivate Analytics. The list, drawn from the top 1 percent of scientific citations over the last decade, offers a benchmark of researchers’ influence within and across 21 scientific fields. Richardson was recognized for his publications in environment and ecology as well as in agriculture, Luo in environment and ecology, and Caporaso in microbiology.
  • Professor of biological sciences Ted Schuur was a lead author on the Arctic and Boreal section of the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report. The report, released alongside the Fourth National Climate Assessment by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, received wide media coverage including major news sources such as The Washington Post.
  • The Center for International Education coordinated with Nancy Baca, a faculty member from The W. A. Franke College of Business to host a group of 13 students from Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior University in Mexico. The group toured the NAU campus and interacted with students as well as visited local landmarks such as downtown Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Lowell Observatory and the Arizona Snowbowl.
group photo of visiting students
Students from CETYS tour the NAU campus
Cheyenne Jarrette